Things I Do at Work

30 07 2005

I try not to make a habit of blogging much about work and all. I don’t want to get “dooced”, but sometimes something happens that is just too good to pass up.

I have been here since October and have mainly been a Customer Service phone gal – got a problem? Call me, I can fix it. Well, I now am also an online gal now. I email, I live chat, I answer calls – is there anything I can’t do?

The phone is great because I like talking to people. Most everyone that calls is very polite and patient. No problems.

Being online and answering emails and live chats is a bit different. I think I like live chats the best. Spontanaeity without any direct personal contact. Perfect.

So….I get this email at 4 am.

“I have another question. As I said to them bought a product that was costing(worth) 30 + 19 $ or 49$. But in my card me 40 have loaded + 30. Might they say to me to which this owes?

So what the hell do I do with this? (Besides make fun of it) Here is my first knee jerk response to this customer…

“In answering of your question, I would at first ask one if one’s country of orgin is a country which might be having of extra and additional tariff and custom charges. Your possible and additional questions might be well directed to 555-444-1234.”

But I didn’t.


Magnitude 5.6

26 07 2005

My children are gone. They have been at their Grandma’s for 8 days now. I have 6 more to go and I can finally be with them.

Everyone tells me that I am so lucky, I will be able to get SO MUCH done. Hah. Liars.

Here is a short list of what I have accomplished in the week (plus) that they have been gone.

  • Wandered from room to room.
  • Made copious messes that need to be cleaned up.
  • Sorted through all of their clothes, folded all that need to go in a yard sale and stacked them on my couch.
  • Left them there.
  • Purposely left Sophie’s favorite stick in the middle of the living room because I can’t bear to move it.
  • Smelled their pillows.
  • Watched “Castaway” for the first time and sobbed when he lost Wilson.
  • Bought dill pickles, but have decided not to open them until Maya can have one, too.

So, I admit to being totally mooney-eyed over my kids. Oh I miss them. I want them back.

It did not help that when I talked to them last night I was told some distressing things.

Apparently, Sophie has been having a difficult time sleeping. She always does. She tosses. She turns. She moans as if she is being murdered. For her, this is perfectly normal and she never even knows she has done any of it the next morning. After quizzing Maya on how things were going, she mentioned that Grandma kept yelling, “Shut up!” to Sophie all night. Now, I know that it can get irritating, especially all night long. But “Shut up”? That is a bad word at our house. I know that she did not even hear my Mom, but it broke my heart.

Then, Sophie told me something else. I had asked her if her cough had gotten any better. In the sweetest little voice she says, “I only cough now when I cry.” Alarm bells. “Have you been crying alot?” Well, come to find out she broke one of Grandma’s sea shells. I did the Mom thing in advising her to be very careful about touching Grandma’s pretty things and make sure to apologize. She assured me that she had apologized but Grandma was “pretty upset”.

I remember that feeling. There was a time that I broke a serving bowl. I took it into the horse pasture and buried it so there would be no evidence. I know the wrath of that woman.

If that isn’t bad enough….while I was brushing my teeth this morning and listening to the news.

“Welcome back to Seattle Live. There was a 5.6 earthquake recorded in Montana between Dillon and Butte.”

Let’s see, my perfect and beautiful children are exactly in Montana, exactly in between Dillon and Butte. I know that a 5.6 is not that big, but good god! Not exactly earthquake country! Last time there was a big earthquake a brand new lake was formed near Yellowstone park. A lake where there was none before. Shit.

So, I called my Mom’s number. Busy. My brother’s. Busy. Information for a listing for the Dillon Police Department (where they probably still know me on a first time basis). Before I panicked totally and alerted the police, I decided to call my Mom back. It rang. My Mom picked up. And you know what she said?

“Oh, at first I thought maybe the air conditioning system in the house was going to explode. But then Maya was yelling at Sophie to get under the table and I finally figured out that it was an earthquake. I didn’t call you because I didn’t want you to worry.”

There are many disturbing things in those sentences. But you know what makes it okay? Maya knew what to do. They are going to be just fine.

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

20 07 2005

Okay, it is official, right now I claim this idea for my own and it anyone steals it I will hire thugs to inflict major bodily damage.

With that said, I would like to implore all of you for help. This idea could possibly have us all going down in the annuls of history.

You know how they always say that nothing rhymes with orange? Well, I want to come up with a word that does. For example,

Florange – the process of rhyming words that are nonsense or non-words. Dr. Suess did this often in his rhyming patterns.

For Example, here is an excerpt from “Too Many Daves” by Dr. Suess using florange techniques….

“….and one of the Sneepy
and one Weepy Weed
and one Paris Garters
and one Harris Tweed
and one of the Zanzibar-Buck-Buck McFate
but she didn’t do it, and now it’s too late.”

It could be said that Dr. Suess was “floranging”. (See? It’s a noun and a verb!)

I know that there are many better examples, but this is the only Dr. Suess poem that I know by heart.

So, please, give me some input….

  • Do you like “florange” or do you have any other suggestions?
  • Should we do an online petition as a way of showing our support?
  • Should we petition Websters or Oxford English dictionary first?

Just think….we could be responsible for abolishing the trite “nothing rhymes with orange” statement! I can put this on my resume! I’m excited!

Toenail Penance

16 07 2005

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you may have noticed that I have referenced toenails more than is normal. I am a bit hung up on cutting mine, noticing other’s, and taking care of old people’s. And now, what I’m sure you have all been waiting for- the reason. And of course, it is driven by the only force that is able to override my logical (and occasionally illogical) reasoning….guilt. (And I’m not even Catholic!)

My Grandma got very sick while I was going to college in Missoula, Mt. Now, I did not take my college experience very seriously when I was attending- as proven by some of my classes….. History of Jazz, Geology 101 (Rocks for Jocks), Spanish, Sports in Cinema, etc. As you can probably surmise from this list, they did not actually support any kind of major what-so-ever. So, I moved back home to help take care of her and work on the ranch.

Grandma had diabetes and was trying to adjust to a diet that did not include sourdough waffles (which she made EVERY DAY for my Dad) and cookies to support all the hired hands and grandchildren. This did not make her happy. Part of my job included living with her so she would not be in the house alone. I woke up every morning, had breakfast with her and checked her blood sugar. I then would work for my Dad doing ranch things and 5 days a week I worked as a bartender at “Lively’s Melrose Bar and Grill” in the nearest town (population 85 and 123 dogs).

I was young and a bit overzealous when it came to living up to the “wild and crazy bartender” legend. So, the jobs my Dad would give me depended on my degree of hangover. If I could fake it well enough through breakfast I would be saddled with normal tasks such as flood irrigating some fields or stacking hay. If not, I was given tasks like roofing the shed with corrugated metal roofing in 85 degree weather, pitching moss out of the ditch (wet pitchfork loads of wet moss are very, very heavy), and anything to do with smelling horrid smells or being in close proximity to loud machinery.

Needless to say, I was always very happy to have time to spend with Grandma instead the endless hours of toil for my father. She was a collector and historian whose entire house was filled with odds and ends that corresponded to her life and her history. She kept daily journals, photographed everything, had desk drawers full of slides, recorded weather and river water level readings for the USGS, and kept every letter or postcard anyone had ever sent her. Her goal was to organize all of this. We worked at this the last few years of her life. It was the most rewarding, interesting and inspiring few years I have ever spent.

During this time I felt like I was really doing something. How noble I was to live with her and help her when she was failing and old. Now that I am older I look back and have some MAJOR regrets.

  1. Sometimes I would get frustrated when I would catch her eating sweets. Now I wish I wouldn’t have been such a bitchy little girl about it.
  2. She was developing incontinence and I would occasionally complain about all the laundry I had to do. She couldn’t help it and I wonder why she didn’t slap me or something.
  3. She also was slipping in the memory department, and I think because it scared me I would get snappy about her memory, too.
  4. And here it is…..the one thing that I can’t forgive myself for. Her feet were snarly with thick toenails. They must have hurt because she always left her shoes unlaced or had them off. I hardly ever cut or filed her toenails. I should have soaked her feet and made her feel like a princess. Instead, I pretended as if the problem didn’t exist.

I was listening to NPR the other day. There was a program about medical school students and anatomy classes involving cadavers. It was really interesting because it spoke of a bond that the students and their cadavers would have. The students would pick out things about the cadavers that stuck with them emotionally. One student described the amount of cancer in the body of his cadaver and realized that he had more appreciation for that man than anyone else that he knew – alive or dead.

The one that sent me into a fetal-position-guilt-induced-crying-jag was this. A young woman student pointed out the one thing about her cadaver that she could not get over. It was the fact that the cadaver’s toenails were thick and long and looked like no one had taken care of them for a long time. She was so sad because she felt like this person died without having someone care for and love them fully.


So now, guess what? I guess I am doing my penance because I cut my neighbors toenails for them.

Richard and Winny are some elderly people that used to live directly across the street from me. Richard had fallen this winter and came over to sheepishly ask me if I would mind cutting his toenails because he was so sore. I jumped at the chance. While I was there Winny asked me to do hers also. It was emotional for me, actually. She is diabetic, and I swear, has the exact same feet as my Grandma.

I moved about a mile away this spring, and I still go over there every few weeks. I have taken to even soaking Winny’s feet every time in the massaging/bubbling foot soaker thing. She says that anyone would pay good money to have me even touch their feet.

I don’t want money. I want my Grandma to feel it.

Empty Nest Syndrome

16 07 2005

My kids are going to Montana for three weeks. Three weeks! The exclamation point here is not meant to convey excitement. Contrarily, it is supposed to convey angst and despair in the highest form.

I do not worry for them, because they have gone by themselves before. They fly comfortably by themselves and feel quite proud. Also, there is so much to do on a Montana ranch, as far as my little town-raised girls are concerned, that I also do not worry about them becoming bored or homesick.

It’s me. All me. I will miss them. People keep telling me things like, “Oh, you are going to love having all that time to yourself!”, and “Let’s go out and do something!”.


You see, I love being their Mom. I am good at it. You know when people say that when you find a career you love, you will never feel like you are working a day in your life? (see “Resume” post) I know that most of my friends and aquaintances don’t understand this. They are always saying things like, “Being a single Mom must be SO hard.” Well, here is the surprising truth people, it’s not. Not at all. The alternative is what totally sucked eggs.

Blasted Nipples

13 07 2005

I was just confronted with the overwhelming problem of trying to keep my laughter to myself. This is hard- very, very hard for me to do. I only choose to do it when the source of my potential laughter is inappropriate to share.

This is definitely not work appropriate.

The source of my mirth was a bag of Flavor-Blasted Goldfish. If you don’t have kids, these are little crackers in the shape of fish that normally have a cheddar-type flavoring. Flavor-Blasted Goldfish, however, have a dusting of spices that “blast” your mouth with a flavoring of their devising (nacho, bbq, etc).

One night, as I was riding in the car with my friend Lynette (forgive me, please, for mentioning your name). She was very excited to sample the Flavor-Blastedness of her bag of goldfish crackers. Imagine my surprise when she yelled, “Holy shit!”

I looked around to try to find the source of her exclamation. It was in vain. “What?!” I said.

“These goldfish just made my nipples hard!”

Somehow, the spices and artificial flavorings reacted to her body chemistry in a way that was previously unknown to exist. Who knew?

I tried them, but nothing. Damn.

So, when I saw everyone sharing these goldfish at work today I wondered how many could possibly be having the same reaction as my friend. I couldn’t bring myself to look.

My Sister’s Journey

13 07 2005

My sister is riding across the country on a bicycle. Yep. “The crazy’s” run in the family. I am soooooo jealous of her future ass.

The person that she is riding with has a blog here. Go on over and cheer them on with some comments…..

Oh…by the way, I was going to entitle this “My Sister’s Ass” but was a bit afraid of what traffic I would be getting from google searches involving the words “sister” and “ass”.